Craft Room Project: More Painting And Prep Work

Yesterday kind of felt like a waste even though it wasn’t. It was a whole lot of 5 minutes of adding wood filler followed by hours waiting for it to dry hard enough for me to sand it down. Normally, you really don’t have to wait that long, but there were areas where I had to get pretty thick and those took forever to completely cure so that when I sanded, parts wouldn’t flake off.

I’m not an overly patient person, so that was a trial for me. Everything looks amazing, so it was worth it. That and it gave me an excuse to have a day to take it a little easy and rest for a bit.

Today, I’m working on getting all the pieces painted that I need to start working on the drawers for the recessed area. One of the things that had me procrastinating on trying to start those was that I wasn’t 100% certain how I wanted to do the drawer faces. I wanted them to blend with how I was going to do the drawers in the rest of the cabinets, but these are way too small to do them the exact same. I finally figured it out last night. Or at least I have an idea how I want to do it, but I need to actually try to build one before I know if it is actually going to work.

I also got the materials I needed to finish off the access opening (that gives me access to a lower corner cabinet from the other side of the new wall). I decided that the door for that is the best place to do my first cabinet door since it won’t actually be in the craft room space. If I mess it up too bad, I don’t really care. But before I can do the door, I have to do the finish framing around the inside of that opening. I figured I might as well get the stuff and get it all painted at the same time.

All this painting means that today isn’t a whole lot different than yesterday. A sort period of time working, then a long period of time waiting for stuff to dry before I can do more. It’s the construction version of hurry up and wait.


I’m a little worried that my crocus didn’t make it through the winter this year. I’m seeing the hyacinths coming up, same with the daffodils, but so far, I haven’t seen any signs of my crocus. These in particular were my favorite last year, so I’ll be sad if they don’t come up again.

Craft Room Project: Recessed Area Assembled

Just almost there!

Everything is painted, put back together and nailed into place. I’ve got all the gaps either caulked up or filled with wood filler. There will be some work to get a couple of those areas cleaned up and leveled out because I think a couple of the boards I used were a little warped and nothing I did got them to sit the way they needed to.

It isn’t perfect. I have a few mistakes and a couple of the spaces aren’t completely square, again in part because some of those boards were warped just enough to throw things off. Even with those imperfections, it looks really good.

I have to finish cleaning some things up before I can call this part done. The drawers for all those spaces still need to be built, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to tackle those next or start on the cabinets.

I’m really torn because I know those drawers are going to be a major pain and I want to procrastinate on them. I also know it would probably be smarter to do those first, giving me a little more practice on some of my techniques. That and messing up a small drawer would be a whole lot less expensive to fix than messing up an entire cabinet or door.

Most likely, the next step, no matter what I decide on the drawers is to get every last one of my panels painted. Those suckers are a pain in the butt to get to completely cover, so it would be so much better to paint them first.

I also still have to finish designing the interiors of a couple of cabinets, something that absolutely needs to be done soon because I’m going to need to start calculating what I need from my next materials run before I can start on those cabinets.

Today was a very long, but productive day with a lot of paint and wait, then paint and wait some more, rinse and repeat. I have a feeling I’m only going to get those touch ups done tomorrow before calling it a lazy day for the rest of the day.

Craft Room Project: Recessed Area First Coats Of Paint

Today was a very busy and productive day.

Every shelf and divider came back out and got shaved down so that everything sits flush to the front of the space. That alone took some time, but it looked so much better after I finished. I’m really glad I took the time to make those adjustments.

I also had to go get the trim I needed for the upper shelf areas since I hadn’t originally planned on putting any trim inside this space and didn’t have any. That took some time away from me being able to get stuff done in the room, but it looks so much better having that in place. Trim is now under the very top board and under the top shelf, which gives that shelf a little more support.

Once those were put up, I spent a whole lot of time getting nail holes filled and all the corners and seams caulked up so it was ready to paint. Do you have any idea how much of a pain in the butt it is to try and caulk around that paneling? The grooves that create the “bead” effect make both caulking and painting SO much fun. Not.

I also had to take some time to clean up the massive amount of sawdust covering the floor. Between what has been produced from all the cutting and routering and what got kicked up when I had to sand down a couple of the shelves so they would paint cleanly, there was sawdust everywhere. I was afraid it would end up in the paint if I wasn’t very, very careful, so I had to stop to clean before I could paint.

Because every bit of this is bare wood, it is going to take a couple coats of paint to completely cover. So far, I’ve got one light coat around edges and another good coat over everything in the middle. I needed to see how well those grooves would cover with my roller before I decided how I needed to finish painting and if I’d need to do several coats along those with a brush instead. Thankfully, the roller hits them well enough I don’t have to do that.

Tomorrow, I’ll do another really good coat around all the edges as well as painting all the other shelves and dividers so they are ready to go back in and get permanently attached. I’ll have more caulking and filling to do, which will have to dry before I can do any kind of a finish coat of paint, but this was some major progress today even though you can’t see most of it yet.

I did learn that when I do my cabinet doors, I’m painting this paneling before I make the doors. It will make my life so much easier if I only have to do some touch ups instead of trying to get into the tiny grooves when they are butting up against something else.

Craft Room Project: Recessed Area Almost Ready For Paint

Today was kind of a mix of really good and not so good, but still a lot of progress.

Everything is cut, routered, and fitting together the way it should (mostly), including the cross dividers for the lower section that I forgot about yesterday. I got the paneling up and attached to the back wall, and the outer sides are all nailed into place.

I have a whole lot of work to do to clean some of my mistakes up and get this ready for paint. I decided that I’m going to add some additional trim around the upper shelf area to finish it off and to give it some extra support since I’m eliminating the dividers for the shelf underneath. There are a few pieces I need to trim down a little bit because with the paneling, they sit just a bit too far outside the opening.

Most of what is left is clean up before I can paint. I have to pull it all back down to make those minor tweaks and do any sanding and filling on the rough pieces along with those touch ups, but I should be ready to paint this in the next couple of days.

While this isn’t nearly as clean as I’d like it and things are not perfectly straight, once I do the clean up and get this painted, it is going to look really good.

Craft Room Project: Next Levels Recessed Area

Today was productive. I finished the first level with all the dividers today. I also got the grooves cut for the remaining shelves as well as the shelves themselves.

I had to stop and evaluate exactly how my next level dividers needed to be done because the way my sections would have lined up would have caused problems with the lower sections. I’m reworking that plan a little bit, but I figured out what I need to do. I’m just going to slightly change the size of the drawers for that level and make one central drawer a slightly different size so the divider spacing works better.

I put a few things in place to give context for the future use for some of those spaces (and to test fit). The photo makes that bottom section look a little bowed. It was, but not nearly as bad as it looks. It is also now fixed.

All the grooves I’m needing to router for this is giving me ample practice for doing the cabinet doors. After all I got done today, I think I finally have a good process in place to make them all cleaner and little tighter fitting.

So far, so good!

Craft Room Project: Slow And Steady

It is probably kind of hard to see exactly what I spent all my time doing on this today, but really, I got a lot done. I would have gotten more done if I didn’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out how to keep my boards level with my cutting surfaces instead of actual cutting.

I got all of the outer walls cut (yes! I finally turned on the table saw and all fingers and toes are still attached) and the top one nailed into place. The bottom piece got the grooves routered for the dividers for the first section. I also got the side walls routered for the first shelf and got that shelf cut.

Other than the top, nothing is nailed into place just yet because I’m kind of having to build this like a puzzle as I go. Once I have everything cut, routered, and I know everything fits the way it is supposed to, then I will start gluing and nailing sections together.

I found out when I was doing the top board, that the contractors didn’t do a very good job of making sure their boards lined up. I ended up having to cut a notch in the upper board to fit around a 2 x 4 that stuck out by about a quarter of an inch. It was a pain in the butt to do, but thankfully, the side pieces cover it.

There are a few places where I didn’t do a great job and are a tiny bit on the ugly side, but that is one of the reasons why this is the first part I’m working on. Those mistakes are going to be a bit easier to hide than they would be on, say, a cabinet door. It is also why things like wood filler and caulk were invented and one of the many reasons why I’m painting all of this.

It is helping me to identify the areas I struggle the most with. One is getting a really precise measurement and I need to work on that a little bit better. I did learn the best way to set up a fence for my router to keep my grooves in line, though I learned it after I goofed a little.

Seeing the walls up inside of this makes me feel a whole lot better about being able to put up a piece of trim around it. Not only will it hide some of my goofs, but it will look so much better. I just have to figure out what is going to work best because it is still too small of a space for a standard door or window kind of trim.

I had hoped to get all the grooves routered in the shelf and the dividers cut for the spaces on this lower section today, but I just ran out of gas and decided it was better to stop than push myself and make a big mistake.

I still have two more shelf sections with dividers to cut and router before everything comes out so I can nail in the sides and put the back panels in. THEN all the inner pieces will get assembled and put back in. All of the filling and painting is going to need to get done before I can start on the next part, so there is still a lot left to do.

There are still a whole lot of little drawers to build, too. I’m not sure where in the process I’ll do those as they can be done at any time. I’m not sure if I will do them before moving on to cabinets or not.

Even with the little not so pretty or perfect areas, I’m really pleased with how this is looking so far.

Last Bubble Of The Season

We may still get snow. Maybe even some ice. Considering the weather this last year, either wouldn’t surprise me at all. What we won’t be seeing again, or at least I hope we won’t as green things are starting to poke out of the ground, are the crazy low temps required for me to be able to attempt another round of frozen bubble photos this season. That isn’t a bad thing and I’m so not complaining about that at all.

It would be nice if I didn’t have to bump up the temperature in the house just to be able to go work in the basement without needing 5 layers of clothes. Or work in the garage without the risk of frostbite.

I had planned on being able to do some of my work from the garage, but there has been no way to spend more than the 20 seconds it takes to run in there to grab something before sprinting back into the house because it has been so cold. Even on the warmer days, it isn’t comfortable for more than a few minutes.

My basement space has now become a full on tool shop. I think almost every single tool we own is now crowding up what little space was open in the basement, which is going to make working a little interesting. At least I’m not constantly running up and down the stairs all day.

Craft Room Project: Little Bit Of Extra Framing

I didn’t get nearly as much done today as I’d hoped, but I did get some done.

It took way longer to get the new bolts I needed and get the stupid table saw set up than it really should have (seriously, who designs some of this stuff??) I also had a few other things that I needed to do before I could do any actual work.

With the new paneling pieces I’m using for the cabinet doors and the back wall of the recessed area, I have to do that back wall in 4 different pieces. The layout of the existing 2 x 4s made it so that some of those edges would be “floating” without having anything to nail into, especially the top and the bottom. I wanted to ensure that they were really stable even if a drawer gets pushed into the panel a little hard, so I decided to add a little extra framing to give me more places to nail into and add some stability.

Back Recess Wall Before Extra Framing
Back Recess Wall Before Extra Framing
Back Recess Wall After Extra Framing
Back Recess Wall After Extra Framing

As you can see, it isn’t a whole lot. I was able to use some of the wood from my Halloween wall frames, which was awesome.

Sadly, this is all I really got done today. I was hoping to get the panels up, but I decided that this really needs to have the pieces that make up the outside frame of the inner section done first otherwise those boards will stick outside that recess by about a quarter of an inch instead of sitting flush.

There are several places where I need to router channels for the shelves or divider pieces in those boards, which was a whole lot more work than I had time for today, so I had to call it quits. I will start back up tomorrow fresh.

I at least have a really good work space set up at the moment for both my saws. It isn’t perfect, but it works. I’m not going to have any more excuses to avoid actually turning on that table saw starting tomorrow. I’m still a little scared of that one.

Standing Out In A Crowd

I have to make yet another trip to the store today. This time, it wasn’t my fault.

I was putting together my table saw stand yesterday, managing to do a whole lot of guessing because the instructions were absolute crap and would have about the same understanding even if I were reading it in the other languages, getting my first project wound because I didn’t have the right tool to hold a nearly microscopic lock nut in place while tightening and having the pliers slip and pinch the hell out of my finger (said wound is now an ugly blood blister in the most inconvenient place on my finger of my dominant hand and felt like a cross between a bad cut and a burn it was so sensitive), only to find out when it was all done that the bolts provided to actually attach a saw to the stand were too big.

This is for a stand that is the same brand as the saw and every comment I found said that it works with my saw. Well, it does. Technically. Because it fits the stand and is within the weight tolerance. I just need different bolts. FUN!

This means that I might, just might, be able to actually do something building like later today. Maybe. And very, very carefully. With fingers and toes crossed that the project wound I got yesterday is the worst I’ll see for this entire project. Because… power tools and saws.

While I sit over here and whine about stupid instructions, wrong bolts, and manufacturers not providing the tools for weird specialty parts, please enjoy some of the last snowy pictures I have. I doubt I’ll have many more past the ones I’ve already taken. I’m so ready to be done being cold.

Craft Room Project: A Whole Lotta “Well Crap!”

So… those wonderful materials I went and bought yesterday and had to rent a truck to get home? Yeah, they aren’t going to work.

I honestly don’t know where my brain was at when I was picking the panels out I thought I was going to use on the fronts of my cabinet doors, but it certainly wasn’t in my head where it should have been. The panels are way too thin to work for what I had planned. Not only that, but the back side is crap and wouldn’t look good painted at all. I don’t know why those things didn’t click when we were pulling them down. Even seeing the mess of the edges, because these are the standard composite kind of crap you often see in these kinds of things, didn’t tip off my brain that something wasn’t right.

Do you know when I realized that I probably wasn’t going to be able to use these? When I was supposed to be sleeping, of course. I spent half the night tossing around all my options and not really coming up with a solution.

When I ran out today to get the other pieces I needed and couldn’t get yesterday (completely different pieces and actual wood, thank goodness), I looked at some other options, but again, couldn’t come up with a solution.

The problem of this being too thin is that it won’t fit in the grooves of the framing for the doors. I considered getting some other material and putting it together with these to fix that and give me a decent paintable surface for the insides of the doors, but none of the options I looked into are going to work.

The other major problem is how fragile this actually is. Again, I really should have figured this out when we were looking at it and known it would be a bad choice for a cabinet door. It doesn’t take much to dent it or break the surface to where you see the dark core material, a really bad thing on doors that are supposed to be white.

I had really wanted wood for this, but couldn’t find what I wanted in the sizes I needed and was one of the biggest reasons I looked at these panels in the first place. Now that I’m looking, I can find this in wood, but in much smaller panels (which do not need a truck to haul home) that are more expensive by quite a bit when you compare the overall square footage price, which is honestly to be expected when getting wood vs. composite crap. That said, I’m not certain the actual size will fit my groove.

Have I mentioned the fact that I absolutely despise that building materials aren’t the actual size they say they are? A board that is label

Now I’m struggling to figure out what to do. I have 5 panels of this stuff that I can’t use the way I’d planned. To return them, I’d have to rent a truck, again, to get them back to the store.

The pieces that I think I might want to use aren’t big enough to do the few bigger doors I have planned. I might be able to pull off doing those doors with a center cross section making them a two panel door instead of one. It is doable and will look good, but it is a little more complicated to pull of than the simple single panel.

We have seriously talked about doing a semi-finish in parts of the rest of the basement when this project is done and using something like a nicer paneling like this that we can paint in those areas. These could work for that, but it may not be all that clean and it wouldn’t completely match the pattern of the cabinets (which is kind of what I was thinking it would do). That and we are so far from ready to do that, these would end up sitting around the house until we were ready, taking up room and potentially getting damaged. Again, it is still an option that would keep me from having to return them, but it isn’t a great one.

I knew that I’d most likely make some mistakes along the way that would force me to get more materials than I planned for, but I honestly didn’t think I’d manage to screw something like this up. Of all the things that I could have managed to get wrong, it had to be the biggest pain in the butt pieces to get home.

What is funny and not at the same time is that I had just bragged to Hubby about how I’ve been doing a really good job of taking advantage of sales and cash back rewards and, in this case, using my rebate I’d gotten on my counter tops to keep costs down on this project. Apparently I’m just as good at turning around and negating those savings.


Yesterday, I got the majority of the materials I had planned to get to start the first part of building the recessed area in my craft room. Unfortunately, the store we went to didn’t have enough of one of the boards I needed, so I’m off to a different store today to get the rest. Grateful to every lucky star out there that the pieces they were short on weren’t the pieces we had to rent a truck to haul home.

I’m still waiting on one thing I ordered before I can actually get started, but that should be here in the next day or so. The waiting part sucks, but I’m getting there.

Beautiful Broken Imperfection

This one really stuck out to me. The fact that it was this lone snowflake caught in that space. That it was either broken or partly melted or some combination. That it was determinedly hanging on. That even imperfect, it was still amazingly beautiful. To me, it is one of those images that can hold so much meaning beyond just being a pretty picture.

Craft Room Project: Recessed Area Design

I never realized how incredibly difficult it would be to design cabinet interiors when you are starting at square one and can do anything you want within the confines of the space you have to work with, so that whole process is going a bit slower than I’d like.

I did have a realization, though. The very first piece that needs to be done is the recessed area that is going to go above my jewelry bench. There will be no way to work on that if I have other cabinets in place, at least not easily because the cabinets would be in the way.

One of the problems with that space is that the final measurements didn’t actually come out as I’d planned and the pieces I’d planned to put there wouldn’t work because they were too deep and would hang out of the space, so the entire design had to be reworked. I spent days looking at all kinds of things, storage boxes and organizers along with all the stuff I needed to find homes for, trying to give me an idea of what direction I wanted to take it.

I think I have finally settled on a plan. It isn’t anything at all like the original, which was just open shelves that would hold existing storage boxes and bins. Now, it is going to end up looking more like an apothecary cabinet instead, something I’ve always really loved the idea of.

Recessed Area Design Layout
Recessed Area Design Layout

This plan works in a few of my existing, but smaller, storage boxes (ones that were supposed to go into a shelf space that has since been removed from the plans), some of my newer fabric sided bins, and a couple of different sized new drawer areas that will be used as a combination of storage for existing stuff and as working “project boxes” where I can keep the various different pieces of current projects contained and stored when I’m not actively working.

Grey Fabric Sided Storage Bin
Grey Fabric Sided Storage Bin

The design also leaves the upper section open as a shelf. I haven’t decided exactly how I want to use that space, but it has to be for things I don’t need often.

There were a couple of issues with this space that made it a challenge to design. One is that it is above my jewelry bench, which is one of the deeper countertops, making my ability to reach this space interesting. I could most likely grab the drawers while standing on the ground easily enough, but anything above that is going to need a step ladder (so much fun being short!) That makes accessing some of these places inconvenient.

The other issue is how messy this area is going to get. Anytime I work on a piece of jewelry that requires polishing or grinding, a ton of really nasty black dust gets kicked out everywhere, so all of those places really need to be enclosed as best as I can to keep the dust out. That is the biggest reasons why the drawers work best in that space. I might even have to seriously considering doing something like adding a large roller blind or something similar that I can drop over the area when I’m doing those kinds of projects to help cut down on that and the open space at the top would give me the room to go that route.

There are still a couple of details I need to work out, like what kind of pulls I’m going to need for the drawers and some of the finer measurement details to make it all fit exactly the way it should, but I’m pretty sure this is the final design.

Now I just have to pull off actually building it!

I think it’s finally time for a materials run.

Oh So Flaky!

I wasn’t going to go out. It was still stupidly cold. But… it was flurrying a bit and those flakes were the perfect kind to try and get actual snowflakes and the sun was out a bit and… of course I went out.

It really was kind of perfect conditions to get snowflake shots. The snow was so light and fluffy, I could scoop some of it up and still maintain the flake shapes. That kind of snow isn’t all that common here as our tends to be more wet and sticky.

I froze my butt and my fingers off, but dammit! I got snowflake pictures!